Plum: More than a Fruit Mother Goose made sugar plums famous in the early 16th century. But the nursery rhyme clearly refers to more than just a tasty piece of fruit. Plum had the meaning of something very special, a prize of treasure or loot. In Britain it even came to be used as a reference for a specific amount of money, 100,000 pounds. However it is used, it always refers to something sweet.